A GREAT BIG PRESENT?
Yes, that's a big red bow you see wrapped around this Smithtown Colonial, which is on the market for $479,900. It's a clever digital marketing tool being used by Karin Hendricks of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage on all her listings in Suffolk County.
"December is typically a slower time of year for home sales, so what better way to present a house than as a present," says Hendricks. "I've been doing this for the past few years from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1 to celebrate the holiday season - and, of course, hopefully increase buyer traffic."
Hendricks notes that all of the homeowners she represents seem to welcome any gimmicks to bring in more lookers. "It's also good to lighten up the real estate market after all the negativity," she says. - GIGI BERMAN AHARONI
A 'DUAL AGENCY' DISCLOSURE
There are two revisions in New York State real estate law that will affect buyers and sellers in the new year.
Starting Jan. 1, those looking to sell or purchase a home will be asked whether they want to check off an extra box on the standard buyer and seller disclosure form that will give advanced consent for a so-called "dual agency" situation.
Such a scenario exists when one real estate agent is representing both the buyer and the seller of a property. Another scenario is when a buyer's agent shows a potential buyer a listing from the agent's own agency, which, if the interest leads to an offer, would put the agent in a situation of negotiating against an office colleague.
Also, disclosure forms will apply to condo and co-op transactions for the first time under the rule changes.
Disclosure of real estate agency relationships has been required in the state since 1991 to explain to the client the type of agent being hired (a buyer's agent versus a seller's agent). Currently, dual agency consent is required only when and if a potential conflict arises.
"This new form . . . will avoid the delays and confusion associated with going back to both the buyer and seller for consent to the dual agency . . . which is particularly difficult if the seller is in Florida or otherwise unavailable," says Cathy Nolan, counsel to the Long Island Board of Realtors. - ANN SMUKLER